The Parkland School Board and the Parkland Education Association have reached agreement on a three-year contract from Sept. 1, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2022.
The PEA represents 640 employees including teachers, nurses, guidance counselors and other professional staff.
PEA members ratified the agreement in a daytime vote on Jan. 22.
That evening, at the public meeting, the board approved the contract, with members Lisa Roth, Bob Bold, Carol Facchiano, David Kennedy, Marie Maritch, and Linda Perlman-McKenna voting in favor.
Union Lutheran Church, Schnecksville, is collecting aluminum can tabs from beverages to support the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia.
Funds from recycling these tabs help offset expenses and give families with children in a hospital an affordable place to stay.
Tabs must be aluminum. Although soup and cat food cans also have tabs, those are not aluminum and cannot be used in this project.
To participate, drop off beverage tabs at the church office where they will be greatly appreciated.
South Whitehall commissioners have granted conditional approval to Griffin Industrial Realty Inc. for construction of a 156,000-square-foot warehouse at 4741 Chapmans Road.
The unanimous vote was taken around 11 p.m. after a lengthy discussion during the Jan. 16 meeting.
The 13.8-acre property, owned by the estate of Fred J. Jaindl, is situated west and north of 84 Lumber and east of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
The plan proposes a 120-car parking lot with a reserve area for an additional 46 cars.
Although Parkland School District residents will probably experience a property tax increase for the 2019-20 school year, the rate will go up no more than 0.35 mills.
The current rate, 15.42 mills, would go no higher than 15.77 mills.
At the Jan. 22 meeting, the board voted not to exceed the Act 1 Index of 2.3 percent calculated for Parkland by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for the next school term.
With the maximum allowable millage increase of 2.3 percent, a property owner would pay $35 more than in the previous term, for each $100,000 of assessed value.
Lynn-Anne Kocon, CPA, has been approved by South Whitehall commissioners as interim tax collector to fill the position of Alvin C. Thompson who resigned.
Her appointment will continue until the first Monday in the January following the first municipal election, which is more than 60 days after the vacancy.
Commissioner Matt Mulqueen commented on Kocon’s selection.
“We went through an advertising and interview process,” Mulqueen said. “Lynn-Anne is very enthusiastic. We’re happy to have her a part of the township.”
Parkland School Board directors announced on Jan. 15 the appointment of Val Strock as assistant director of school services for transportation.
Strock, currently the district’s transportation coordinator, will replace George Husack, who resigned last month.
Andrew Hargrove, garage foreman at Parkland, will become the transportation coordinator.
Both jobs took effect Jan. 28. The garage foreman position remains unfilled.
The Welcoming Committee of Union United Church of Christ, Neffs, will be hosting a tailgate party from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 3, the day of the big football game.
Enjoy a free lunch of subs, pizza, wings, chili, salads, snacks, birch beer and dessert. The occasion is a welcome party not only for new church members but also for anyone who would like to have some food, fun and fellowship.
Union UCC joins thousands of churches across the country on Super Souper Sunday to collect food and funds to fight hunger.
Karen Dopera has been named the inaugural principal of Veterans Memorial Elementary School, now under construction in Upper Macungie Township.
Dopera will take on her new job July 1 in preparation for the opening of the school in September 2020.
Veterans Memorial will serve the district’s southern tier community along with Jaindl and Fogelsville elementary schools, which are now serving that area but are stressed for space due to increased population growth from new housing developments.
Parkland School District buildings will no longer be used as polling sites for elections in spring and fall.
Solicitor Steven Miller commented on the decision during the Jan. 15 school board meeting.
“This was an administrative action between the school district and the Lehigh County Board of Elections,” Miller said. “The administration has the authority to terminate the contract.
“The reason is school security. Elections can be volatile. We did not want to have a polling place where children are at school.”
South Whitehall commissioners have approved purchase of a third dog for the police K-9 program at a cost of $20,000.
This is the price of the canine, one year of training and outfitting the officer’s vehicle.
Ranger, a 12-month-old female Dutch Shepherd, will begin training this month.
Chief Glen Dorney reports Ranger is certified in narcotics detection and patrol work.
Her handler is Officer Matthew Carney.
She joins Kyra and Drax who came from Holland to the South Whitehall police department in September 2018.